Email marketing was truly the first form of digital marketing that existed. As email blossomed from this cool new toy into something that a person couldn’t live without, companies saw what an amazing tool it could be for them. Social media was the same way; once brands saw the growth potential, they jumped on the bandwagon.
Some digital media experts would like to sway their expertise and say that email marketing and email in general is dead. However, as most of us know, this likely couldn’t be further from the truth.
As much as people would like to say that social media replaced email, it really comes down to the type of business you run, how you conduct your day to day operations, and also the which platform is a better location to connect with your audience.
Is the idea that email is dead and that social media is the new king, true? Let’s take a look at some points and decide what the truth is.
First There Was Email… Then There Was Social Media
There is no denying the exponential growth of social media. Even ten years ago, Facebook was still a new thing with more and more people trying it out by the day. There were barely any ads on Facebook this time ten years ago. Now in 2019, over two-thirds of Americans have a Facebook account, and in 2017 the company made over 40 billion in ad revenue. And that’s just Facebook. These figures do not account for the emergence of social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. You can not deny that social media is a massive part of the daily lives of most people.
Just to show how popular Facebook is in comparison to other social platforms, the chart below makes it clear as day. For further evidence and visuals, you can also visit SproutSocial and see the many other social networking charts and stats they have compiled.
So with social media taking up so much of our time, what about email? Email is practically ubiquitous these days. To do anything, you need any email address. Even your doctor’s office wants your email now so they can remind you of appointments and let you know that test results are complete, etc. After we get done dealing with all the emails we need to read, like from our kids’ school teachers and work, then we have to sort through all the junk we get from companies. After all that, do we even want to read the sales pitches we get from companies?
Speaking of sales pitches… it doesn’t matter if you are running your ads or marketing through email or social media, you simply need to provide value. If email and social media has taught us anything, it’s the power of great storytelling to promote a brand or service. With “text” content making it’s way out the door, storytelling is now alive and well in video and visual form — which can be optimized for both social media and email marketing.
With more people using their mobile devices to access their email and view updates on social media, it’s now more important than ever to have a solid content creation and marketing plan for each platform. It’s not just a matter of which platform is best for you and your audience, but also how you can create the best content and value for each platform as well.
Why is email so much more effective than social media?
So what are businesses to do? Should they forsake email and go all-in with social media? Or do they still need to work on both delivery systems? The short answer is yes; you still need to work with both delivery systems. While people may be overloaded with email, it’s not going anywhere any time soon. This stat may blow your mind, but email still has a better ROI than social media. According to OptInMonster, email marketing has an ROI of 4400%! That stat is eye-popping!
Even though social media consumes so much of our daily lives, email marketing is where most clicks happen. Yes, this is shocking news. The same article from OptinMonster shows that the click rate for social media as a whole is .58%. For email, the click rate is 22.8%. Yes, for all the hype that social media gets, the engagement rate versus email is extremely low. This doesn’t seem right given all the attention that is paid to social media, and that is spent on advertising on the platform. But email gets the job done better.
OptinMonster suspects the success of email is driven by the fact that it is the first digital thing people check each day. For 58% of people, checking email is the first thing they do after they wake up. For those who check social media first, their preferred channel seems to be Instagram. Any guesses on which social media channel has the best conversion rate on their ads? If you guessed Instagram, you would be correct.
Businesses stand a good chance of converting their customers if they get their ads to the channels that their users engage with first. A brand with a well-designed digital strategy will know their current audience, know their target market, know their habits, and place ads accordingly. Age of your target market comes into play as well. The older your target market, the less likely they are to have social media channels to begin with. Older customers are leery of social media and still aren’t crazy about email, but because so many things require an email account these days, they have complied.
While social media is wildly effective in getting your brand out in front of your customers and potential customers, it still isn’t producing the sales that you would think. People love to see what brands are up to and love to see brands share great customer stories — but buying via a social media channel? Well, the customer base isn’t quite there yet. Email marketing still wins that battle. Over 60% of consumers admit to having purchased an item because of an email that a company sent. Social media is unable to compete with that.
So why have all this focus on social media if it can’t produce? Because the two can work in tandem. Social media will get your brand on people’s minds and drive them to your website to learn more. Once on your website, then you get them to sign up for email. It’s a digital marketing circle of life. They all work together for the benefit of the company. Don’t give up on one piece just because it doesn’t produce what the other one does. All the parts are working together for the good of your company.
How to Expand Your Reach with Email and Social Media Marketing
All joking aside… email marketing and social media are two of the most powerful marketing platforms in the world today. Social media is great for content creation and paid targeting and read, while email is still the best way to have that one-to-one engagement.
The best way to take advantage of both is to focus on the growth of your mailing list, and then using paid advertising methods on social media to then remarketing to subscribers on your list.
If this sounds interesting to you, contact us today and we’ll show you how fast and simple it is to start getting hundreds of new 100% opt-in email subscribers to join your list daily. Try it out, with not up front costs or set budgets.